Sirogojno, Serbia: the land that time (almost) forgot
I took one morning during our stay in Zlatibor to visit the museum and village of Sirogojno. The drive was pretty,
if not a bit slow, thanks to the numerous farm equipment on the road.
Sirogojno’s ethnic village/museum was founded in 1980 to exhibit preserved buildings from the 19th century. At the rate that Zlatibor is undergoing construction, this was a prescient move. The wooden buildings were removed from their original sites and reconstructed in Sirogojno’s ethnic village. The village features wooden houses, some built with wooden nails.
In addition to houses, the village has preserved grain houses, chicken coops, and what I think are woven beehives below. I’d love to give you more information on these, but my Serbian isn’t quite good enough to figure it out.
Before I left, I had to look at the famed sweaters of Sirogojno. Their history makes a RHOB proud. In the 1960s, local women formed a company to market the wool sweaters they knitted by hand. Fashion shows and international interest followed. In 2009, Sirogojno exported 500,000 Euros ($709,305 USD) of hand-made wool knitted items. (I knew I should have learned how to knit.)
The sweaters seem to follow two kinds of patterns: scenes from village life,
and simple ones with a looped, hooded collar and cuffs. After comparison shopping, I chose a simpler sweater that was shorter and more fitted than the traditional style. It was pricey, particularly for Serbia, but I was happy to help the local economy-and get a useful souvenir in the process.
It’s getting warm in Belgrade, but the sweater made a great jacket in the mountain air of Zlatibor. Now that we’ve returned, I’m hoping to put it away until next October-or my next trip to Serbian mountains.